Iće i piće

NO 7, April 2008

wine and... Portrait of a Winemaker


Josipa Andrijanić

Photos: Damir Fabijanić

Wine Cellar’s ID


It is no mistake to claim that land, agriculture, viticulture and wine production reside in the genes of family Tomac. Besides, grape has for centuries been grown on the eastern and southern hillside of the mountain of Plešivica. However, Veltlinac red wine from 1987 is the wine to be remembered, the first one that Zvonimir Tomac bottled and launched onto the market. Only three years later did his Rhine Riesling turn Tomac into a star synonymous with high quality and reliability. No wonder to expect that from a person who was born in a vineyard and who states the relationship of equality between wine and the life itself.
Like father – or grape – like son – or grape vine – the fact proven by son Tomislav, who after having graduated from agronomy decided to follow the beaten path of his father and to continue his family’s tradition.

Vineyards and assortment

The vineyards of family Tomac are situated on the sunny slopes of Plešivica-Okić wine-growing hills, on the positions of Šipkovica and Bresnica. The sorts of Chardonnay, Rhine Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Pinot Noir occupy 5 hectares, while the half of a hectare is occupied by the fifty-year-old leased vineyard, where old autochthonous grapes of Plešivica are grown, such as red Veltlinac, Plavec žuti, Šipelj, Štajerska belina, Neuburger, Green Sylvaner etc. The cutting is performed by the father and son, whereby they do not feel as masters of the vineyard, but as its servants. Still, no complaints are heard – because environment-friendly approach, the use of organic fertilizers, boiling protective substances down to the minimum, low yield of only about a kilogram per grape-vine and the respect for nature serve as a guarantee of high quality of both grape and wine.

Cellar, technology, wine

The modern state-of-the-art cellar for manufacturing still and sparkling wines is equipped exclusively with wooden barrels, ranging from the classic barrique to traditional barrels with the holding power of 2,000–5,000 litres. Zvonimir has been acquiring them over the years, and the oldest among them counts 60 years. They have recently started abandoning barrique and plan to switch to traditional big barrels completely. This year’s innovation is the vinification of grape in amphorae buried near the cellar. They expect the long maceration and natural fermentation process to result in special kind of stable and aromatic wine. However, despite their constant search for a style, the quality can continually be recognized. They produce 3,000-3,5000 bottles a year, half of which of sparkling wine.

Sparkling wine

The production of sparkling wine was begun in 1992. They are produced according to classic methods and are left to mature on their own yeasts for two to three years before launching them onto the market. Chardonnay is used for base and the mixture of the sorts of Plešivica in different ratios is played with, depending on the type of wine. They produce around 16,000 bottles a year – and pope John Paul II tasted one of them during his flight to Split.

Family business

The atmosphere in the Tomac cellar is charged with family spirit, since Zvonimir, Pavica, Jasna, Tomislav and Martina pull all the strings. Additional help is also employed during harvests, but the sum of the effort and joy put into the business make the top result be no les than expected. They are truly living with the wine and for the wine. A little family and a little cellar for great achievements.


The wine is created by the nature, it is born in the vineyard and the role of man is to deliver it like a baby and to raise it, put it on the right track. Young Tomislav Tomac is distinguished by essential wine passion, and great affection for nature and tradition, whereby his wife Martina supports and follows him faithfully. He keeps improving the knowledge and courage inherited from his father in the best possible way, producing thereby original and specific wines, which have throughout the years become ever richer in structure.


The family is trying to spread their vineyards and they are interested only in the best positions. They are also equipping the newly built cellar for the maturation of sparkling wine, which they hope will help restore the old glow of the Plešivica region. The first step on that path is to produce the wine in which the taste of the region can be recognized, the taste existing for already 70 years.

Tomac vinarija

Donja Reka 5

10450 Jastrebarsko

(01) 6282 617


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